With a new baby on the way, and all the excitement surrounding it, the big sibling is a huge part of the event. These big sibling gifts are split into three essential categories for practicality, fun, and teaching, and are possibly the most important part of my baby registry gift guide for second-time moms.
While sibling jealousy is far from a surprise, it still needs to be thought of and tackled way in advance.
I think that M took the hardest hit with my pregnancy (after me, of course…) First, there’s pregnancy brain. Today marks a week straight that I forgot to give him his morning sippy cup with milk. Then, there’s my inability to hold him, the skimpier dinners, the tired mornings…
All that, and the baby isn’t even here yet!
Disclosure: I did receive some samples from brands for coverage. Some of the products on this list include those samples which I have tested and enjoyed, and some are products I purchased and received as gifts, love, and chose to feature. In the interest of full transparency, I have marked items that I received from brands with an asterisk.
All of these products are “tried and true” in my experience. Nevertheless, I am not otherwise affiliated with these brands and cannot take responsibility for quality, fulfillment, or anything else that’s in their hands.
This post contains affiliate links.
While having my second child, the main focus of my registry is actually the big sibling. I already have much of what I need, and most people who buy outside of my registry will likely buy for the new baby. So my registry focuses mostly on big sibling gifts.
This list of big sibling gifts focuses on the toddler-preschool age category, and obviously, needs will vary from child to child. I’ve also split it into three categories: things that your toddler will love but is more practical in that it frees up the gear you still use for the baby, highly entertaining toys that will keep your toddler occupied during the time that Mommy’s not really there (or not all there…), and “big sibling” specific items that either teach or help alleviate jealousy. In the last section, I added some cute big sibling gifts that don’t necessarily fit (and are maybe more for mom than the sibling) but are still cute.
Big Sibling Gifts to free up gear for baby:
While your toddler might be long done with certain things – like the bassinet – there are others that she might still be using. Replace it with a fun gift in advance of when the baby will need it, a “big kid” version, instead of purchasing doubles.
- Little Tikes Perfect Fit 4-in-1 Trike*: Not always is a double stroller practical (though you should definitely try for one), and giving the big sibling more independence is a great idea. We started M already on this 4-in-1 trike from Little Tikes and he already prefers it over the stroller. It transitions seamlessly into a trike, so it’s an exciting toy for him too! It also includes some “stroller-like perks” for me – such as a cupholder/parent tray and a snack tray for M.
- A table booster seat: M is already showing his independence as I just mentioned, and likes to sit at the table… but he doesn’t quite reach. While baby won’t be needing his high chair for another half year or so, it’s smart to empty it in advance, so that he shouldn’t go nuts when baby takes it over. I’ve registered for this one as per some friend’s recommendations, since it’s being used for a toddler.
- BubbleBum Car Booster Seat*: You’re going to need another car seat. If you have two cars, you’ll need two. If you have a four-year-old or older, the BubbeBum car booster seat is perfect – because it’s portable, easy to transfer from car to car, and affordable. It’s inflatable and even comes with a carry bag so that you can have it handy anywhere.
- Fun toddder bed: If you’re moving your toddler out of the crib to free it for baby, a fun toddler bed is a perfect solution. Make sure to do the switch in advance (right after baby is born is a perfect time, while baby is still sleeping in a bassinet. Give your toddler time to “forget/dispossess” the crib…)
Big Sibling Gifts to entertain while Mommy’s out or bedridden:
When looking for toys to buy a toddler after a baby’s born, go for things that are extra-entertaining – the kinds that will allow your tot to play while mom lies down and watches. Building toys are my favorites, and the more variety (to switch it up) the better, but there are more options too.
- Magformers*: These toys are super popular for a reason, and my son can’t get enough! They are perfect for independent play while mom supervises from the couch. We find that the open form of Magformers are so much easier for young hands to handle, and the possibilities are truly endless. It’s also the kind of toy that will grow with your child. Go for a great starter set, which can be expanded later on as well.
- Arshiner keyboard and drums*: M is obsessed with music and I know already that he will be asking that I turn some on every minute when the baby comes. This inexpensive toy piano from Arshiner is not only fun for making his own music, but it also allows him to play some fun, familiar tunes. It’s sold via Amazon so if you register there, you can add it right to your registry.
- Learning tablet: I know that there will be screen time, and I believe that it’s more than appropriate to offer that when needed. It’s not about if you do it – it’s about HOW you do it! The Little Scholar Learning Tablet by School Zone is loaded with educational games, apps, books, flashcards, and more. It’s secure, and basically impossible for my son to figure out the password to hack into the wifi/parental controls. It comes with a bumper case for protection. We are both in love with this.
- HABA My First Ball Track*: HABA is a favorite of mine for quality wooden toys, but when it comes to the “highly-entertaining” category, I’m so glad I found this toy from them! Your tot will have a blast configuring and reconfiguring this ball track so that it “works”. M loves slides, balls, and building toys, and this one also throws in a bit of practical engineering – which is right up his alley.
- Sensory bin: While sensory play can be a tad messy, it can be so entertaining that it might be worth the quick sweep. With little time to create your own, having premade ones can be a lifesaver. We have one with water beads that M has been enjoying for a while, and one with clean sand that we’re saving for when baby comes.
- Lego Duplo*: What better time to start M’s Lego stash than now? Since he’s little, we’re starting with Duplo as it’s perfect for his age range. Their fun themed sets are perfect even for kids who already have a stash, as refreshing it with new options makes it more fun and entertaining. The My First Playhouse doubles over as pretend play for toddlers. Creative Animals allow your animal lover to get creative and create fun creatures. This is a toy that entertains M for hours, and will be a true lifesaver when baby comes, making it a must-have for your big sibling gifts.
- Play dough – M can be entertained for hours by play dough. It’s a relatively mess-free activity, and a fun gift set can go a long way.
Big sibling gifts to help with jealousy:
While all of the above big sibling gifts help with jealousy (with all the gifts baby gets…), these are targeted directly toward educating about the new baby. I’ve also added in some “just like baby” gifts for the sibling who doesn’t go for the whole nurturing thing…
- A doll and accessories: Who says boys can’t play with dolls? As a matter of fact, with a new baby on the way, a doll is a perfect way to let your son or daughter have his or her own “baby.” It not only gives your child an important role to play, but it also teaches care and nurturing hands-on. Top priority on my own baby registry is a doll, a doll stroller, some toy baby gear, a doll care package, and even some extra clothing. It’s not so easy finding ones that aren’t hot pink (not that it REALLY matters, but M does prefer blue, green, or even dark purple), but I’ve linked to some for you above in case you’re also looking for a boy (the girl mamas here will have it easier…) He’s going to be a Daddy to his own baby, and we’ll do everything we can to make him feel special.
- Incredibundles*: They are one of my favorite brands for gift-giving, and perfect for the big sibling! You can either try one of their premade bundles, or put together your own. You get a nice gift package, with a reusable box, and fun gift-ready packaging. This bundle is perfect for the big sibling. It includes a super soft plush that M is obsessed with (he even went to take his nap nicely because he got to bring “baby bear” with him!) and a big sibling book which is a perfect way to bring in the new baby.
- Big sibling books: Books that teach about big sibling-hood are a great way to teach about a new baby! Make sure to chat about the book and learn the right lessons as you read them… Some titles to start with: 15 Things Not to Do with a Baby, My New Baby, The Big Sibling Book: Baby’s First Year According to ME (for slightly older kids), The New Baby (Little Critter), Babies Don’t Eat Pizza, and The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby.
- Matching outfits: If the big sibling might be jealous with all the adorable new outfits the baby gets, why not match ’em up? Tea Collection is one of my favorite places for matching outfits. Check out Etsy if you want to work it across genders. You can check my list of best places to get baby clothing online for more ideas.
- Big sibling tee: Or, grab a top special for the big brother or sister, with a special message regarding his or her new status.
I’ve made it easier for you to shop some big sibling gifts inspired by this post! Just scroll through the widget below and click to see more information.
What are your top picks for big sibling gifts? Any other advice to share with moms-to-be?
Julie B. Carr
Friday 13th of May 2016
When I was pregnant with my second child, I looked for a book that would involve my older son in the pregnancy and hopefully eliminate future sibling rivalry. Not finding one to my liking, I wrote "Making Me: The Pregnancy Activity Book for My Big Brother or Sister" (by Julie B. Carr/Motherly Way). It helps foster understanding, love, and engagement every day of Mom's pregnancy for the 4-10 year old sibling. Child Psychologist & Pediatrician approved. Feel free to check it out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Me-Pregnancy-Activity-Brother/dp/0967142849/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459543012&sr=1-1&keywords=making+me+pregnancy Let me know if it works for you!
Menucha @ Moms & Crafters
Sunday 15th of May 2016
That looks great - thanks for sharing!
Alyssa @ Arts and Crackers
Thursday 14th of April 2016
I love this list! Magformers and LEGOs are awesome!!